Underwater Robotics


Presently, and in the future, major scientific challenges such as global climate change, habitat loss, collapsing fisheries, increased energy usage, and other societal problems must be addressed locally, nationally, and internationally. In Santa Barbara and the nation, the youth are falling further and further behind their global peers in science and math, resulting in the threat that fewer local youth with be prepared for careers that will address these problems.. Many current science curriculums use a cookbook approach that fails to relate problem-solving skills to real-world problems.

The Olive Grove Robotics program provides local youth with an innovative, hands-on science program focused on rigorous scientific endeavors to inspire students to pursue scientific and engineering fields. It also engages students in an engineering project that allows students to apply physics principles such as hydrodynamics, buoyancy, pressure, electrical conductivity and power efficiency. This is all done while teaching them to develop team building skills while brainstorming ideas and design concepts. Overall, the students will have a hands-on learning experience while increasing their awareness of marine technical fields and expanding their career opportunities.


We will design and build a robot capable of competing in the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) competition. The MATE competition is an annual Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition. Teams from middle schools, high schools, community colleges and universities participate in the international student ROV competition coordinated by the MATE Center. Each year MATE determines new tasks the ROV must perform. These tasks are usually a simulation of what an actual ROV must complete. For example, in 2009, the tasks were related to the rescue and recovery of a sunken submarine. This simulated the saving of the Russian AS-28 submarine and its crew in 2005.

Read more about us in our Santa Maria Times and the Lompoc Record articles.

Contact Us

Olive Grove Charter School
Contact Person: Larry Madrigal
(805) 623-1111
[email protected]

Thank you to the following sponsors:

Community Robotics Learning Program

Rochelle Fontes, Kry and Sam Chapin, Robin Jones Allen, Ron and Patti Whitney, Joshua Ferejian, Ethan Ferejian, Rusti and Ara Ferejian, Mike Fair, Jennifer Cloud, Larry Madrigal, Dan Mudge, Mark Hanlon, Kristan Morrison and Dawn Wilson.

We appreciate your help.

Olive Grove Charter School educates all students in grades TK-12 and offers both textbook and online based curriculum.